May 05, 2017 (LBO) – Tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka rose 17.5 percent to 160,249 in April, after falling in the previous two months, with growth in the islands larger generating markets China and India slowing, data from the tourism office showed.
Arrivals in the first four months to April were up 6.1 percent to 765,202 compared to 721,185 in the same period last year, despite partial closure of the international airport.
Indian arrivals were up only 1.7 percent to 26,323 in the month of April compared with the same period last year while Chinese growth slowed to 4.5 percent to 19,823.
However, Western European visitors rose 40.9 percent with UK visitors up 48.6 percent to 17,841, Germany up 47.1 percent to 11,866.
The decline in the previous two months was due to inconvenience and long waiting time at the islands main airport, Bandaranayake International Airport which was closed for three months until 6 April for runway renovations.
Tourism accounts for close to 5 percent of the island’s economy.